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Exercise Vigilant Scimitar tests Aviation capabilities

written by Staff reporter | June 13, 2022

Australian Army MRH90 Taipan from the 5th Aviation Regiment prepares to land behind the CH-47F Chinook at the forward arming and refuelling point during Exercise Vigilant Scimitar at Ingham Airport, Queensland. Credit: Department of Defence. Photographer: Corporal Jarrod McAneney

The annual exercise, hosted last month, tested the 16th Aviation Brigade’s foundational training, and comprised of elements from Darwin’s 1st Aviation Regiment and Townsville’s 5th Aviation Regiment.

Between 14 and 28 May, Exercise Vigilant Scimitar tested the combined missions capabilities of the 16th Aviation Brigade, equipped with Tiger ARHs from the 1st Aviation Regiment and the Chinooks, MRH-90 Taipans and AW-139s from the 5th Aviation Regiment.

AW-139s were also leased to play a supporting role.

Throughout the task, the Brigade undertook troop lifts and simulated combat scenarios to challenge the Brigade’s foundational warfighting capabilities.

“In the past, we have worked as part of the combined-arms team in a supporting role,” Commanding Officer of 5th Aviation Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Christopher McDougall said.


“It’s fantastic that we had this opportunity to be the primary focus of a training exercise, integrating all of the combined-arms team under an aviation headquarters.”

LTCOL McDougall explained that building relationships with the local community was critical to the task.

“We have been working closely with the Charters Towers council, Queensland police and the local community to establish relationships and provide a service to the town,” he continued.

The multi-echelon exercise occurred within a deployed joint task force environment, with elements of 3rd Brigade, 7th Brigade and 17th Sustainment Brigade supporting the task, as well as members from the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.

According to Defence, the exercise allowed soldiers to “get back to the basics”.

“Foundation-level training underpins capability,” LTCOL McDougall concluded.

Article courtesy of Defence Connect.

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